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Newbie from Australia - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Newbie from Australia

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  • Newbie from Australia

    G'day folks, after lurking on here for a while I think it's time to join in!
    I'm from Central Coast of NSW Australia and in the process of building a wfo and have the foundation done, the concrete slab poured and next will be the base and dome.
    Am I right in thinking that it's ok to use pavers as the base as opposed to firebricks?
    I intend to lay a 'ceramic insulation paper' under the pavers/firebricks to assist in the insulation, but just wanted to get thoughts on using pavers.

    Great forum and a minefield of info which seems to cover every topic known to mankind!

  • #2
    Re: Newbie from Australia

    Hi Jakhall

    welcome to the club. When you say the base,, Im assuming you mean under the block the oven will sit on ?? If so I wouldnt see any problem with that.. Keep in mind, Your completed oven will weigh over 3000 lbs... I used 220 firebrick at 9 lbs... about 4 kilo each so the dome alone was almost 2000 lbs..

    What Im saying is be sure your base is strong and supported and you will not have a problem,

    Cheers and good luck


    • #3
      Re: Newbie from Australia

      Hi Jakhall and welcome aboard.
      Another Aussie to add to the forum.
      Have you read the book written by Russell Jeavons, "Your brick oven, building it and baking in it"
      ISBN 1 904943 25 X
      Well , he runs a pizza restaurant at Willunga in the Southern Vales just south of Adelaide.
      He has 2 ovens which he uses for 3-4 days a week and has built 5 others using 'old pressed red bricks' and he used 2" fired clay pavers for his hearth. He has 2 layers so a total of 4" which he says can be easily replaces should they wear and need replacing. See:


      A little warning on your insulation though, don't skimp and use the good stuff! It will pay dividends and once you get your oven hot (500˚C for pizzas) and with a good well insulated door, it will stay hot enough to cook for up to 3 days.

      Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

      The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

      Neillís Pompeiii #1
      Neillís kitchen underway


      • #4
        Re: Newbie from Australia

        I intend to lay a 'ceramic insulation paper' under the pavers/firebricks to assist in the insulation,
        Refractory paper is thin, and used to establish slip planes between masonry layers. It has no insulation value to speak of. Under your floor you need either four inches of vermiculite concrete, or two inches of refractory insulation board. Any shortcut here will leave you with an oven that will waste wood, and have trouble getting to temperature.

        As for pavers, builders have used fired clay pavers with success, but bear in mind that any non-refractory ceramic material will have the tendency to crack and spall. Mandatory disclaimer: In the US "pavers" universally refer to portland cement slabs, which are completely unsatisfactory in oven use.

        One final thing: unless you're building a fire-every-day bread oven, you really don't need a four inch thick floor.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2